What does tally mean?

Definitions for tally
ˈtæl ital·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tally.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. run, tallynoun

    a score in baseball made by a runner touching all four bases safely

    "the Yankees scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th"; "their first tally came in the 3rd inning"

  2. reckoning, tallynoun

    a bill for an amount due

  3. count, counting, numeration, enumeration, reckoning, tallyverb

    the act of counting; reciting numbers in ascending order

    "the counting continued for several hours"

  4. match, fit, correspond, check, jibe, gibe, tally, agreeverb

    be compatible, similar or consistent; coincide in their characteristics

    "The two stories don't agree in many details"; "The handwriting checks with the signature on the check"; "The suspect's fingerprints don't match those on the gun"

  5. score, hit, tally, rack upverb

    gain points in a game

    "The home team scored many times"; "He hit a home run"; "He hit .300 in the past season"

  6. tally, chalk upverb

    keep score, as in games

  7. total, tot, tot up, sum, sum up, summate, tote up, add, add together, tally, add upverb

    determine the sum of

    "Add all the people in this town to those of the neighboring town"


  1. tallynoun

    Originally, a piece of wood on which notches or scores were cut, as the marks of number;

  2. tallynoun

    Later, one of two books, sheets of paper, etc., on which corresponding accounts were kept.

  3. tally

    Hence, any account or score kept by notches or marks, whether on wood or paper, or in a book, especially one kept in duplicate.

  4. tally

    One thing made to suit another; a match; a mate.

  5. tally

    A notch, mark, or score made on or in a tally; as, to make or earn a score or tally in a game.

  6. tally

    A tally shop.

  7. tallyverb

    To count something

  8. tallyverb

    To record something by making marks

  9. tally

    To make things correspond or agree with each other

  10. tally

    To keep score

  11. tally

    To correspond or agree

  12. tallyadjective

    Used as a mild intensifier: very (almost exclusively used by the upper classes).

    Up and over to victory! Tally ho!

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tallynoun

    Etymology: from tailler, to cut, Fr.

    So right his judgment was cut fit,
    And made a tally to his wit. Hudibras, p. iii.

    The only talents in esteem at present are those of Exchange-Alley; one tally is worth a grove of bays. Samuel Garth.

    Have you not seen a baker’s maid
    Between two equal panniers sway’d?
    Her tallies useless lie and idle,
    If plac’d exactly in the middle. Matthew Prior.

    From his rug the skew’r he takes,
    And on the stick ten equal notches makes;
    With just resentment flings it on the ground,
    There take my tally of ten thousand pound. Jonathan Swift.

    So suited in their minds and persons,
    That they were fram’d the tallies for each other:
    If any alien love had interpos’d,
    It must have been an eye-sore to beholders. Dryden.

  2. To Tallyverb

    To fit; to suit; to cut out for any thing.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Nor sister either had, nor brother;
    They seem’d just tally’d for each other. Matthew Prior.

    They are not so well tallied to the present juncture. Alexander Pope.

  3. To Tallyverb

    To be fitted; to conform; to be suitable.

    I found pieces of tiles that exactly tallied with the channel. Joseph Addison, Remarks on Italy.


  1. Tally

    In computational complexity theory, a unary language or tally language is a formal language (a set of strings) where all strings have the form 1k, where "1" can be any fixed symbol. For example, the language {1, 111, 1111} is unary, as is the language {1k | k is prime}. The complexity class of all such languages is sometimes called TALLY. The name "unary" comes from the fact that a unary language is the encoding of a set of natural numbers in the unary numeral system. Since the universe of strings over any finite alphabet is a countable set, every language can be mapped to a unique set A of natural numbers; thus, every language has a unary version {1k | k in A}. Conversely, every unary language has a more compact binary version, the set of binary encodings of natural numbers k such that 1k is in the language. Since complexity is usually measured in terms of the length of the input string, the unary version of a language can be "easier" than the original language. For example, if a language can be recognized in O(2n) time, its unary version can be recognized in O(n) time, because n has become exponentially larger. More generally, if a language can be recognized in O(f(n)) time and O(g(n)) space, its unary version can be recognized in O(n + f(log n)) time and O(g(log n)) space (we require O(n) time just to read the input string). However, if membership in a language is undecidable, then membership in its unary version is also undecidable.


  1. tally

    A tally is a count or record of something, typically represented by making marks or entries, to keep track of quantities, scores, or other data. It is a method of recording information for the purpose of summarizing or analyzing data.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tallynoun

    originally, a piece of wood on which notches or scores were cut, as the marks of number; later, one of two books, sheets of paper, etc., on which corresponding accounts were kept

  2. Tallynoun

    hence, any account or score kept by notches or marks, whether on wood or paper, or in a book; especially, one kept in duplicate

  3. Tallynoun

    one thing made to suit another; a match; a mate

  4. Tallynoun

    a notch, mark, or score made on or in a tally; as, to make or earn a tally in a game

  5. Tallynoun

    a tally shop. See Tally shop, below

  6. Tallynoun

    to score with correspondent notches; hence, to make to correspond; to cause to fit or suit

  7. Tallynoun

    to check off, as parcels of freight going inboard or outboard

  8. Tallyverb

    to be fitted; to suit; to correspond; to match

  9. Tallyverb

    to make a tally; to score; as, to tally in a game

  10. Tallyadjective

    stoutly; with spirit


  1. Tally

    A tally is an unofficial private observation of an election count carried out under Proportional Representation using the Single Transferable Vote. Tallymen, predominantly a feature of the Irish electoral process, are appointed by political candidates and parties. They observe the opening of ballot boxes and watch as the individual ballot papers are counted. Individual tallymen may be placed to observe the opening of each box and watch as separate bundles of ballot papers are sorted, stacked and counted. They record their estimation of counts by marking votes for each candidate on their 'tally sheet' as a tick which are then assembled together to produce a full prediction of what the likely outcome of the result will be. Many political parties, having been rival during elections, co-operate in producing a tally. Tally results are then released to the media before a formal account may even have begun, allowing predictions as to how some, or in most cases all, the seats in multi-member constituencies, may go hours in advance of the official count, by noting how many number 1s a candidate may get, who gets their number 2s, whether voters vote for one party or spread their first, second, third, fourth etc. preferences randomly, by party, by alphabet, by local area, or by some other criteria. In the Republic of Ireland, a national prediction of an election outcome may be made on RTÉ by lunchtime on count day, before a single seat has officially been filled.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tally

    tal′i, n. a stick cut or notched to match another stick, used to mark numbers or keep accounts by—(down to the beginning of the 19th century these were used in England for keeping accounts in Exchequer, answering the double purpose of receipts and public records): anything made to suit another:—pl. Tall′ies.—v.t. to score with corresponding notches: to make to fit.—v.i. to correspond: to suit:—pa.t. and pa.p. tall′ied.ns. Tall′ier, one who keeps a tally; Tall′yman, one who keeps a tally-shop: one who lives with a woman without marriage; Tall′yshop, a shop where goods are sold to be paid by instalments, the seller having one account-book which tallies with the buyer's; Tall′y-sys′tem, -trade, a mode of dealing by which dealers furnish certain articles on credit to their customers upon an agreement for the payment of the stipulated price by certain weekly or monthly instalments.—Live tally, to cohabit without marriage. [Fr. taille (It. taglia)—L. talea, a cutting. Cf. Tail (law).]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Tally

    a notched stick used in commercial and Exchequer transactions when writing was yet a rare accomplishment; the marks, of varying breadth, indicated sums paid by a purchaser; the stick was split longitudinally, and one-half retained by the seller and one by the buyer as a receipt. As a means of receipt for sums paid into the Exchequer, the tally was in common use until 1782, and was not entirely abolished till 1812. Tally System, a mode of credit-dealing by which a merchant provides a customer with goods, and receives in return weekly or monthly payments to account.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. TALLY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tally is ranked #12683 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Tally surname appeared 2,435 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Tally.

    77.1% or 1,879 total occurrences were White.
    15.7% or 384 total occurrences were Black.
    3% or 74 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.4% or 36 total occurrences were Asian.
    1.3% or 32 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.2% or 30 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce tally?

How to say tally in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tally in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tally in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of tally in a Sentence

  1. The English newspaper:

    Calls for Russian swimmers to be excluded from the Games will grow after the investigation revealed that Portugalov, the doctor recommended for a lifetime ban by WADA as a key player at the heart of Russia's doping scandal, actively encouraged the national swimming team to adopt a systematic doping policy, since 2009, when Portugalov first offered to 'assist' Russian swimming, 23 swimmers have been handed suspensions for doping and the tally for all aquatics sports exceeds 40 in the past decade.

  2. Spider-Man:

    Spider-Man Go web. Fly. Up, up, and away web. Shazam. Web it. Tally ho.

  3. Celene Perez:

    What is also significant is that Warehouse Workers Resource Center applies to temp workers as well as direct employers. The complaint made very clear that California Cartage and Orient Tally violated the rights of both workers.

  4. Phil Robertson:

    This is a tally sheet exercise, with the Thai side trying to figure how many cases and how many officials the U.S. government wants prosecuted in order to give an upgrade, thailand's efforts this year have been a lot of talk, shuffling of assignments at government inter-agency committees, but little substantive action to effectively end trafficking.

  5. Bryant McGill:

    Love heals violence and all its sources. Love only serves and does not calculate. Love gives without expectation, while hate carries an endless tally of debts. Hate controls everything it touches, but love sets everything it touches free.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tally

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • übereinstimmen, den Spielstand beihalten, aufeinander abstimmen, markieren, abhaken, Kerbstock, korrespondieren, einstimmen, einspielen, zählen, Zähler, Anzahl, KerbholzGerman
  • cuenta, marca, contarSpanish
  • vastinkappale, pitää lukua, viiva, pykälä, laskea, pari, tukkimiehen kirjanpito, pulkka, merkata, sovittaa yhteen, tilastomerkintä, pirkka, vastataFinnish
  • marque, somme, compteFrench
  • scórIrish
  • गणनाHindi
  • conteggiareItalian
  • счётRussian
  • räkna, stämma överensSwedish
  • ల సంఖ్యTelugu
  • sayım, seri işâreti, bağdaşmaTurkish
  • 理貨Chinese

Get even more translations for tally »


Find a translation for the tally definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"tally." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tally>.

Discuss these tally definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Corey Gawne
    Corey Gawne
    LikeReply3 years ago

Are we missing a good definition for tally? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Browse Definitions.net


Are you a words master?

transmit (a signal) for setting off an appropriate response, as in telecommunication
  • A. disturb
  • B. condemn
  • C. doom
  • D. interrogate

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for tally: